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U.S. citizen gets prison in al-Qaida case

| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 1:39 p.m.
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NEW YORK — A U.S. citizen who joined al-Qaida and participated in a failed 2009 suicide bombing at an American military base in Afghanistan will spend 45 years in prison.

Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh was sentenced Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Farekh's case drew extra attention because of reports that American officials had initially debated whether to try to kill him in a drone strike, a step almost never taken against U.S. citizens. Democratic President Barack Obama's administration ultimately decided to try for a capture and civilian prosecution instead.

The Houston-born defendant was captured in Pakistan and brought to the U.S. in 2015.

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